The 40th Annual UNCF Chicago Walk for Education held at Burnham Park recently raised more than $104K in funds that will help deserving students go to college. More than 500 supporters came out to the event, which had an atmosphere of camaraderie filled with unity, purpose, and hope.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle returned this year to serve as the Honorary Chair of the walk. Popular radio personalities, Ramonski Luv from Omni- Channel and Trey White from WGCI-FM, kept the crowd engaged and uplifted as the event’s co-emcees.
The occasion’s significance was highlighted by Fred Mitchell, Vice President, Development Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Divisions UNCF, who spoke of the “profound impact of UNCF over the past 79 years.” He emphasized the organization’s “vital role in making possible a quality education for thousands of students,” thereby giving them the foundation and paving the way for their success in life and in their future careers.
The event allowed participants to select a 5K walk/run or a 10K bike/skate course, all while enjoying the scenic beauty of Burnham Park on the city’s South Side. Special moments included an inspiring program featuring guest speakers, incredible performances by the Jesse White Tumblers, and an energizing warm-up session led by Chicago native Miss Illinois 2022, Monica Niá Jones. Jones became the first black woman in 20 years to hold the title.
Left to right: Alderman Lamont Robinson (4th Ward); Lisa Rollins, UNCF Regional Workplace Director; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; and Fred Mitchell, UNCF VP Development, Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Divisions, come together at the UNCF Chicago Walk. Preckwinkle served as chairperson of the event (Photo Provided).
TeResa Gaddis, UNCF Chicago Development Director, in expressing her gratitude, said, “It was a privilege to have Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle return to helm the walk. Her commitment to fostering higher education for our future generations is commendable. A big thank you to every individual and organization that came out to show their support.”
The 2023 walk was supported by national sponsors Colgate and Lowe’s, with local sponsors and donations from Aetna, ALDI, American Airlines, BMO Harris, Chicago Defender, Comcast, Gift of Hope, Huntington Bank, Marquee Sports Network, McDonald’s, NBC 5 Chicago, PepsiCo, Telemundo, Top Ladies of Distinction, Urban Prep Academies, WGN-TV 9 and Wyn-Win Communications.
For those who missed the event, want to relive the moments, or donate, please visit www.uncf.org/chicagowalk or ChicagoUNCFDay.org to participate in a silent auction where all proceeds support the walk. For more information about UNCF Chicago, visit www.uncf.org/chicago.